Kansas mental health
Some 29 years ago, I was fortunate to spend several days touring Osawatomie State Hospital and then writing a five-part series of articles. It was an eye-opener, both for me and the readers of our suburban daily newspaper.
Osawatomie seemed always underfunded, and the resourceful, dedicated staff delivered amazing services to those housed at the aging hospital. Those who suffered the most needed intense monitoring and counseling.
Now I read that the hospital’s physical maintenance has been so neglected that it must turn away a substantial number of patients. This is a funding and failed government issue, first and foremost.
It now concerns me that the most deranged, delusional and dangerous are out among us. No, I’m not talking about those turned away from Osawatomie. I’m referring to those at the Statehouse and the governor’s mansion, who seem to have their selfish priorities so twisted that they cannot serve Kansans who are most in need.
The next chance for an intervention appears to be 2016 for voters. In the meantime, I urge Gov. Sam Brownback and the greedy, selfish majority of the Kansas Legislature to get counseling.
Kansas City, what happened? Kansas City in years past had the cheapest gasoline prices.
We now have a situation where gas prices are almost the same all over the metropolitan area. Drive outside the area, prices go down from 10 to 40 cents a gallon.
You can even get cheaper gas on the Kansas Turnpike. Even in Arkansas, with its higher gas tax, it is cheaper.
I guess we have reached a point where monopolies are OK and exempt from regulation.
Obama’s Iran deal
President Barack Obama’s “legacy” nuclear deal with Iran is a disaster. This deal is reminiscent of Neville Chamberlain’s deal, “Peace for our time,” with Adolf Hitler before the start of World War II.
To listen to Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, Iran held all of the aces. That was certainly not the situation.
We held the aces, and Iran was dealing from weakness. However, Obama wanted this deal so much he sacrificed all of his bargaining chips.
I am afraid Obama’s legacy will leave the United States and our allies in a very dangerous position defensively and will definitely lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Obama said the alternative to the deal was war. That is ludicrous.
If we had dealt from our position of strength instead of a deal at any cost, we would have had an agreement that stopped Iran’s nuclear weapons development, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, limited its efforts to export terrorism throughout the region and demanded the release of our citizens held in Iranian prisons.
I guess one good thing to come out of this deal is that Israel and her Arab neighbors realize they now have a common enemy.
Jamaal Charles’ story
I express my thanks and appreciation for the Aug. 16 article, “Learning to Fly,” which revealed the plight of Jamaal Charles in overcoming childhood fears and disabilities to become the man he is today, delighting football fans everywhere.
The article is an inspiration to me as a reading/language arts/social studies teacher, having spent many years in the trenches of education, helping students to overcome reading disabilities.
I know, as many reading specialists know, the agony and pain of impoverished African-American students struggling to read.
Mr. Charles’ story is indeed an example to all young readers facing learning disabilities in finding success in America. May he continue doing what he is doing, not only on the playing field, but also with his work in inspiring those in the younger generation as they pursue success in literacy, and in inspiring reading specialists like me to keep on with the work of making every child in America a reader.
Edward C. Wills
We live in the Show-Me State, and we were shown by the Missouri Department of Transportation that our roads and bridges are in bad shape. A 10-cent increase in the gas tax would help tremendously.
That would cost my wife and me $4 a month. It’s not going to hurt the poor if they don’t drive as much.
We need the help. These are our roads, not anybody else’s
Helping after disaster
Tianjin, China, has lost most of the initial firefighter responders in a massive underdocumented chemical deathtrap explosion (8-16, A20, “China tries to contain effects of chemical catastrophe”).
China’s best support response has been to send in its army’s chemical-weapons experts.
Kansas City, as a sign of compassion and goodwill, should offer any services or personal expertise that the crew of Hazmat 71 could provide in the current cleanup.
The chemicals they have mentioned are not uncommon or exotic and are commonly used in industry.
We have welding gasses, propane storage, electroplating and chemical manufacturing in Kansas City.
Somewhere, I learned the Huffington Post decided that stories involving billionaire and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump should be printed in the entertainment/gossip section rather than considering him real news.
That seems like a realistic approach.
Rae Ann Nixon
KC television news
I’m often mystified by what the local television news stations cover, and what they don’t cover, in the “news.”
Last week, I saw a follow-up about the Ferguson, Mo., situation that made no mention of members of a citizen militia, the Oath Keepers, who were striding around the streets in Ferguson sporting military-grade weapons.
In my mind, this deserves at least a mention. Other news media rightfully expressed concern about armed citizens taking the law into their own hands.
Isn’t this news?
Also, I frequently find it ludicrous that news stations send a reporter to some remote location in the dark, where nothing is happening, to report live on something that happened earlier in the day. What is the point of an on-the-scene report where nothing is going on?
Why not do what “The Daily Show” does and stick the reporter in front of a green screen and a photo of the site where whatever it was that happened?
The local news puzzles me when it covers non-news and fails to cover real news.
Foreign aid benefits
To many individuals, the plight of more than a billion people around the world can be too abstract a concept to warrant the giving of our hard-earned cash. That doesn’t seem totally unreasonable.
If we worked for this money, we want it to benefit us or those around us.
However, not only does the giving of foreign aid help the poor around the world, but it also creates jobs in the United States and improves our national security.
Aid is an investment to creating export-driven jobs. When people have more money, they can afford to buy more goods, which creates jobs here.
Thanks partly to aid, less than a decade after the tsunami in Indonesia, an airline there managed to buy 230 jets from Boeing, many of which were built in Wichita.
For additional perspective, according to the Center for Global Development, 45 percent of our exports are going to developing nations.
In addition, many people aren’t aware that, according to a poll conducted for the Center for U.S. Global Engagement in 2008, 80 percent of military officers support increased foreign aid — with good reason. They understand that with poverty comes instability.
What do Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and fascist Italy all have in common? All three of those regimes were created after economic depressions.
A stable nation is a well-fed nation.